New Jersey Devils defenseman Kurtis Foster is waiting to hear from NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan after receiving a five-minute major and game misconduct for boarding St. Louis’ Chris Porter.
Here’s the hit in question:
As you can tell by the reactions from St. Louis play-by-play man John Kelly and analyst Darren Pang, the call was something of a surprise (they thought it was a two-minute minor.) Foster later told Rich Chere of the Star Ledger that a referee informed him the five and a game was because Porter was bleeding from the head.
As for what Foster thought of the hit?
“I know the he went into the boards the way he did, but I thought that I went shoulder to shoulder,” he said. “I’d have to see the replay again. It happened so quickly I thought I did a good job of catching him with my shoulder on his shoulder and the way he turned he almost put himself into the boards.”
Devils coach Peter DeBoer didn’t seem to think the hit would warrant supplemental discipline.
“No, not based on the reaction of the people that did see it inside,” he said when asked about Foster being suspended. “They didn’t see anything serious.”
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.